If it sounds too good to be true….

Bernard Madoff was a financial advisor to the rich and famous. He and his firm managed billions of dollars for high net worth clients as well as multi national corporations and many well known foundations. He was arrested last week …

and according to recent news reports, may have pulled off one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, perhaps totaling $50 billion in losses to investors. A Ponzi scheme is where money is siphoned from new investors to pay older investors.

This is a shocking amount of money to have swindled from people if all the allegations are true. They were all promised practically the same thing- a guaranteed 10% return on their money- for life.

What would a FIer have done if presented with an investment opportunity that seemed too good to be true? Would you have given your money/ power away and said yes, here’s my money, take it and make me that 10% for life? I highly doubt that. While a 10% return over the course of one year or five or even 10 isn’t remarkable, such a guaranteed return over the course of a lifetime is pretty unheard of and FIers would have been cautious with such a promise.

In Step 9, we’re reminded that one of the primary missions of the book is empowerment. You no longer give your power or money away inadvertently. You have gained inner confidence with investing your money, and most importantly, you have increased your financial intelligence.

Mark Zaifman

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